by Rev Jason Phua
Bible Readings: Ephesians 3:1-21; Psalm 68:1-18
READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Psalm 68:5 “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.”
In Psalm 68:5, David praise God for He is the “Father of the fatherless and protector of widows”. Indeed, God has been known throughout the ages that He takes special care for those who are poor, needy neglected, abused and oppressed. God is the Father of the fatherless because God knows the challenges a child face when a father is no longer present or when a father, while physically present, has been emotionally absent.
In this day and age, many children grow up with the problem of having an absent father. The absent father is more concerned with fulfilling his ambition than spending quality time with his children. The absent father is more concerned with creating wealth thinking that money can buy happiness for his children. The absent father gives up easily trying to nurture his children and looks to the digital nanny for answers. The absent father cannot overcome the damaging influence of his own absent father and hence gave up trying.
As a result children grow up feeling insecure, angry, demanding and entitled because the natural protector was not there to protect; the natural nurturer was not there to nurture. The problem became a vicious cycle because it is likely that the person who had an absent father will do likewise to his own children.
How can one breaks out of the vicious cycle of absent fatherhood? Only by learning from and hoping in the Father of the fatherless. I can testify confidently that God is indeed the Father to the fatherless because I am a recipient of His grace in this aspect of my life.
For the first few years of my learning as a young Christian; I cannot wholly understand the idea that God is my Father in heaven and that He loves me like a Father. Nevertheless, God sent me my wife who encouraged me to converse with my Father in heaven like His son. Only when I started doing so, that I realised that God the Father’s heart is so full of love and grace for His children. God broke my damaged and prideful heart and have it renewed. Only then, did I overcome the thinking that I cannot properly nurture my own children because of what I had experienced as a child.
There is still a lot of work to be done in this heart of mine to properly love and nurture my children. No less, I am confident that my Father in heaven, the Father of the fatherless will teach and guide me to be a better parent.
Our Father in heaven, may we as fathers do not lose hope in nurturing our children for You are the Father to the fatherless. Help us to look to You and to the shining examples You have given to us to teach us and guide us. Amen.